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Zimbabwe opens up for Namibian beef imports

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MEMORY MATARANYIKA
Harare – Zimbabwe is eyeing pork, chicken and vegetable exports to Namibia after agreeing to a deal which will see Namibia supply the
local market with beef on a quota basis, government and diplomatic officials confirmed on Thursday.

Trade between Zimbabwe and Namibia is steadily growing, with the country shipping most of its imports from international source markets
through Namibia’s port of Walvis Bay. Now the two countries are eyeing even further trade deals to boost bilateral relations.

Zimbabwe has agreed to have Namibia sell its boned beef on a 50 tonne per month quota basis. This is one of the first such deals under which
boned meat is exported for distribution in another country.

“It would be uneconomical for those refrigerated trucks to drive back all the way from Zimbabwe empty. We need to promote reciprocal trade
between our countries to achieve regional integration,” said Zimbabwe ambassador to Namibia, Chipo Zindoga.

Discussions with Namibia to allow for Zimbabwe’s pork and poultry producers to distribute their products in Namibia have since opened.
It is expected that such deliberations will result in Zimbabwe striking a reciprocal deal after allowing Namibia to distribute its
boned beef in the country.

South Africa consumes about 80% of beef produced in Namibia although it only allows for the importation of deboned beef as a precautionary
measure to curb the spread of animal diseases. Namibia consumes only about 10% of its beef products while the remaining 10% is exported to
European markets.

“Zimbabwe has agreed after considering safety measures that we apply to import bone-in beef from the FMD protection zone. This is the first
time it has been possible,” said John Mutorwa, Namibia’s Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister.

The deal to supply Zimbabwe with boned beef, is one step towards full intergration of trade ties between the two Southern African countries,
amid high expectations that other areas of trade will be explored, said Mutorwa.

Namibia was looking “forward to reciprocal trade for the mutual benefits.”

“Collaboration between our two countries has been excellent and covers a number of sectors. It is our sincere hope that this friendship continues to grow from strength to strength for the benefit and socio-economic development of our people,” added Mutorwa.

Zindoga said there should be no fears over disease outbreaks as veterinary experts from the two countries were on the watch for such
possibilities. She said Zimbabwe had already given beef import permits for the Namibian distributors.

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